Our Pastor and Parochial Vicar
Fr. Leon Juchniewicz
Father Leon Juchniewicz was appointed Pastor of Good Shepherd Parish in July, 2011. He previously served as Pastor at St. Basil the Great Parish in Vallejo.
Prior to 1983, Fr. Leon was active in the Solidarity movement in Poland where he served as a parish priest for four years beginning in 1980.
A group of Catholic families arrived in Sacramento in 1983, leaders of the Solidarity movement in Poland, immigrants who had been given a one-way passport, trying to find their way in a new home. The Polish priest who opened his arms to them, helped them find a place to live, learn a new language and nurtured the faith traditions of their homeland, was Fr. Leon.
In recognition of his religious and patriotic work in the Polish American community in California, Fr. Leon was presented with the Cavalier’s Cross of the Order of Merit from the Republic of Poland. The award was presented to Fr. Leon by Krystyna Tokarska-Biernacik, Consul General of the Polish Consulate of Los Angeles at the Polonian Cultural and Pastoral Center in Sacramento.
The Cavalier’s Cross of the Order of Merit, which is the highest non-military Polish Medal of Honor, is granted by Lech Walesa, former President of Poland. “It was very meaningful for me because I received it from Lech Walesa who made history for us,” said Fr. Leon.
Following Mass and the presentation of the Cavalier’s Cross, Fr. Leon spoke informally to more than 200 Polish Americans who had gathered for the event. His words to them were simple. “The award is not mine. It’s ours,” Fr. Leon said. “We made it together.”
Fr. Edgardo Garcia